Downton Abbey 3: outstanding actor nomination Monte Carlo Television Festival

Congratulations to Dan who has been nominated for an outstanding actor award in this year's Monte Carlo Television Festival. The awards ceremony will be held in June. 


I just noticed that the link

I just noticed that the link of Monte Carlo Television Festival changed and now there are the nominations for series 3, not for series 2 like the original news had.

He was nominated for the 2012 awards

He was nominated for the 2012 awards for series 2 - the best actor award in a drama series went to Henning Baum. Hugh Bonnerville is the only male actor on Downton to be nominated for the 2013 awards.

Yes, but do you know why we

Yes, but do you know why we knew about the 2012 nomination only on March 2013? Or why the news was out again, when it really wasn't a news, since it was one year old news. Thanks :-)

 Spammers got in to bump the

 Spammers got in to bump the comments thread! Old news. 

Huh? No, it was posted on

Huh? No, it was posted on March 2013.

There was another way

If Julian Fellowes had really wanted to avoid the gloomy end to the Christmas Special, as he has again recently stated, and Dan having decided before filming Series 3 that he would/could not do a fourth series, then why tack on that dreadful car crash scene, when it could have just ended with the happy birth of Matthew & Mary's son. Then, if Series 4 was commissioned, any one of a number of story lines could have been explored.
With a time jump of 6 months or 1 year, Matthew could still have died in the interim (it did not have to be on screen), perhaps in a train crash whilst on his way to or from London, another form of accident, murdered, even a car crash. My point is that the end effect would have been the same, although admittedly Dan would not have had that final dramatic scene. Personally I thought that scene was poorly thought out anyway and was not one of Matthew's/Dan's best ones!

I agree with you entirely

Yes, Matthew Crawley could have met his end off stage (or rather off screen) in Season 4. The Dowager Countess might have hated Greek drama - for things to happen off stage, but I think I would have preferred not seeing that awful car crash in Season 3. Julian Fellows could have given everyone a sweet ending for Season 3, and hit us with the emotional punch in Season 4 Episode 1.

I think if the scene of getting the worst news possible is directed and acted properly, it can be even more devastating than seeing blood oozing from a head wound. I point to that unforgettable scene in the film "A Single Man" when Colin Firth's character received the news of his beloved's death. I think Michelle Dockery has the talent to carry off a similar scene.

Seeing Dan's current new look . . .

After reading all the recent comments regarding filming schedules for Downton, and actors being allowed flexibilities to do other film/stage projects etc. . . the lingering question for many fans remains: "Why couldn't Dan stay for Season 4 as well?"

Seeing the new look Dan is sporting nowadays for "A Walk Among the Tombstones" - I doubt if he can fly back and forth from New York to Highclere Castle to film Downton Season 4 even if he wanted to comply with Fellowes' plead to stay for just one episode for Season 4. I suppose Dan could wear a blond wig with thick, wavy locks over his current short black hair, but what about the weight loss?
Should he wear a "fat suit" under his Matthew Crawley clothes? But his handsome face with the new chiselled looks ?? Use computer CG technology to fill in for a fuller face of Matthew Crawley frame by frame?? Even during the war years of Season 2, Matthew never looked gaunt.

I personally think this latest attempt by Julian Fellowes and Downton's producers to place the blame solely upon Dan's broad shoulders is due to a report that Australia's Channel 7 will not be renewing for Season 4's broadcast. Other countries might follow suit - meaning a great loss of revenue for the producers and Julian Fellowes. It's all about $ and ratings.


Do you really think that .....

Do you really think that the fact that an Australian TV Channel has axed Downton Abbey due to poor ratings was behind Julian Fellowes latest comment re Dan Stevens departure from the series?

The Australians were never besotted with Downton Abbey. To the Australians, it is just a TV Show, not a way of life.

China has taken up showing Downton Abbey so that will more than make up for the loss of the Australian TV audience...unless, of course, as you say, other countries may follow Australia's lead and not bother with Season 4 now that a key element in the story has come to an end - the Matthew / Mary story.

DA not that great in Australia.....

Downton Abbey audience was not that great in Australia.... Lucky if it made 1.8 million on a very good night. Call the Midwife out -rated it and when The Voice returned that was it!

The Australians seemed to have liked the story but were never over the top about it.... nothing like the Yanks who almost declared a Day of National Mourning when Matthew Crawley flipped his car!

Julian Fellowes must have been feeling guilty about the poor storyline in Series 3 to have turned his gun sights on Dan Stevens and ranted on about his decision to leave Downton Abbey when his contract finished.

Good move, Dan.

Re "DA not that great in Australia"

Well DA isn't to everybody's taste, but that's fine. I would agree though, that Series 3 did seem to go a bit off-track, and that need not have been due to the decisions of Jessica Brown Findlay & Dan Stevens to decline any contract extensions, as both had given notice of this before filming of S3 began.
What is disheartening and disappointing is the continual side comments and pointed remarks by Gareth Neame about those who left. Now he is suggesting that a total of ten series might be possible. For the sake of those who hold DA dear, please no! I would hate to see it become a parody of itself or a celebrity appearance circus.
In my own personal opinion, for what it is worth, I believe that Downton Abbey should have ended with Matthew & Mary's son's birth. The story would have then come full circle, adhered to its original concept, and been forever regarded as a fine and beautifully made drama.

"......celebrity appearance circus."

Series 4 seems to be heading down that track.

Hope that Gareth Neames is totally wrong.... Series 3 episode 8 had all the hallmarks of a conclusion to a great drama series.

Definitely, without a doubt Downton Abbey should have concluded with the birth of Matthew and Mary's son.

Now we are left with the celebrity appearance circus act scenario.... every second aging thespian is expressing a wish to star in Downton Abbey before they depart from public view....

RE "Seeing Dan's current..."

Yes, you could well be right.

Dan's comments about playing the role of Matthew after Series3 being monopolising could well have related to his appearance as well as any other factors. His ability to change how he looks, to suit a role, seems to be as flexible as his ability to use so many voices and accents as he does when reading audiobooks. His Welsh accent in Summer In February will certainly make Gilbert Evans an accurate portrayal, not a Matthew Crawley lookalike.

It dose seem strange that the 'blame' arguments have reared up again, coinciding with that news about Australian TV not picking up Series 4! Personally I am weary of all this haranguing and all the derogatory comments. There is much more to Dan than just Matthew, I hope that he can move on and show us all what he can do.

Lord Fellowes not returing to Downton Abbey either!

With so much outcry and angst over Dan Stevens' departure from Downton - especially with this latest resurgance of "hate Dan" or "good for Dan" fan comments stemming mainly from Julian Fellowes recent remarks - we seem to overlook that Julian Fellowes himself is leaving Downton Abbey to write for another period drama (The Gilded Age) for a major US network. So Lord Fellowes will also be moving to the US. (There were comments from the casr that they had a hard time reaching Fellowes to discuss script/plot points/character development etc. as he was in Hollywood much of the time when they were filming Season 3)

So Lord Fellowes will also be making to leap across the pond. Since he is the creator of Downton, and the sole writer of Seasons 1 - 4, it will be very interesting to see scripts written by other creative minds.

I do hope they will "jump ahead" for Season 5 - to the Battle of Britain and the young heir serving in the RAF, fighting for King and Country in WWII. (Dan Stevens can come back and play the role of Matthew's son - he can really pull it off, you know!)


Re "Lord Fellowes...."

There is certainly a lack of criticism or outcry about Lord Fellowes dropping his 'baby'. Strange really!
Pot calling the kettle black perhaps?

Has it been confirmed that Series 5 will be made?

Another project that Lord F. has in the USA is the film "The Chaperone", starring Elizabeth McGovern,

So lots of activity over the water then!

Leaving Downton Abbey

Dan / Matthew leaving Downton Abbey mid - series made me realize that an actor sometimes has more obligations to his public than what he may realize, or perceive. Matthew was an integral part, one of the 2 stars, of the show. How could he be so mean as to leave and wreck all the Series 1 to 3 in the memories of millions of people world wide! Killing him off was also a bad choice - I would have preferred a good substitute, horrible thought but better than turning a heart-wrenching love story into just ONE tragedy too many. He we are, my daughter in her house, my friends in theirs, in Australia on the other side of the world, frantically getting family to bed or husbands out of the way for our one hour of really really worthwhile movie experience for the week...with a huge drought in between series. Of all the massive TV choice we have, it was THE ONE. And Dan/Matthew has the arrogance to refuse to do Series 4! Effectively letting Matthew be killed off...who wants to watch a new series of misery? There was enough drama between those 2 as it was until they finally produced their child. . It needed a good ending desperately.
Gwendoline in Oz.

Re "Leaving Downton Abbey"

Oh dear, not again! Due to the delays in broadcasting Downton Abbey around the world, it is probably inevitable that those who have only just seen the end of Series 3 will be reeling/reacting to Matthew's death.
However, there is plenty of information available that puts his decision into perspective - to summarise:-
The original cast were contracted for a 3 year/season period. It was not known at that time how successful Downton Abbey would be.
Both Dan & Jessica (Lady Sybil) confirmed BEFORE THE FILMING of Series 3 had even started that they would not be extending their original contracts.
Confirmation that Series 4 and possibly 5 were to be commisioned was not received until quite late in 2012 so many of the cast who had agreed in principle to extend their contracts, had to rearrange/cancel other commitments and projects that they had arranged, in order to be able to take up the new series. Filming Downton Abbey lasts from February to August/September, which is long time for any actor to be wholly attached to a single production.
Dan had signed for his Broadway role in The Heiress long before leaving Downton, and being a long stage run, with other potential projects on offer, he made the move (not necessarily permanently) together with his family, to New York.
We must respect Dan's decision, even if we don't personally like it. Surely a true fan would not want an actor to be stuck in a restricting and binding role? Dan has so much to give, on screen, stage, reading and writing, and I am looking forward to seeing his future work.

Yes - Dan is so talented!

I agree! Just recall how much Dan managed to accomplish while he was filming Season 3 of Downton. He co-produced and filmed "Summer in February," read 146 books for being a judge for the Man Booker prize, became a dad a second time, co-founded the online "The Junket", contributed to his monthly column in the Telegraph, and was probably prepping for his Broadway play as well since the rehearsals started right after the filming of Season 3. I don't know how he managed to meet all his commitments and did them all so superbly!

So my best wishes for this very talented actor/writer/producer/thinker for all his future work, and for doing the best work in the most important role of his life - as a husband and father.


Re: Leaving Downton Abbey

Not in Australia, mate. There's no outcry, no major reaction. It's only a TV Show after all...

All in a life's journey as far as we Aussies are concerned. Sad ending for sure but no different from what happens somewhere every day in our country... a father of a young family is killed at the wheel of his car.

Good luck to Dan Stevens. Hope he does well in whatever he chooses to do in the future.

Hope Lady Mary stays on track and brings up her little son as his father would have wished. New life - new beginnings ahead for the folk at Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey..... leaving Australia....?

Channel 7 in Australia will not be taking up the option to screen Season 4 of Downton Abbey as part of its 2014 programme.

If one of the other TV Channels does not take up the option to screen Season 4 this will mean the end of Downton Abbey for the Australian fans.

Re Leaving Downton Abbey

".........Confirmation that Series 4 and possibly 5 were to be commissioned was not received until quite late in 2012 so many of the cast who had agreed in principle to extend their contracts, had to rearrange/cancel other commitments and projects that they had arranged, in order to be able to take up the new series. Filming Downton Abbey lasts from February to August/September, which is long time for any actor to be wholly attached to a single production....."

Just a clarification: Season 4 was confirmed late October 2012. At the time Dan Stevens was in rehearsal for The Heiress which was contracted to run for a 10 weeks period plus the 4 weeks Review period in October.

Filming for Downton Abbey is done over an 11 weeks period. It is completed by the first week of August ready for viewing in mid-September. The schedule is arranged so that it is two weeks on with one week off to enable the cross-over between scenes shot at Highclere and scenes shot Ealing Studios. Very few of the cast if any would be required on the set for 11 weeks straight.

The Downton Abbey contracts were drawn up so that the cast members were free to undertake other projects in the 42 weeks not occuppied by Downton Abbey requirements.

How is February to August =

How is February to August = 11 weeks? Even if filming is divided between two weeks off two weeks on, it makes impossible for anyone to take other big commintments during those months, outside UK at least.

How is February to August =

If you read an interview given by Dan Stevens you will discover that the actual filming of Downton Abbey is done in less than 3 months. According to Dan Stevens it commenced either the end of February or early March and was finished by the end of May .... The Christmas Special / Finale is shot as a separate entity over an extra 2 weeks later on as it is not an absolute but it is contracted as an addition by ITV / Masterpiece.

Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanna Froggett, Dame Maggie Smith all managed to undertake other commitments in the break .... Dame Maggie Smith did not seem to find it impossible as she did The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel during one break and Quartet during another break. Hugh Bonneville shot Mr Stink in NZ after Series 3.

Michelle did two movies in the US one of which was Anna Karenina plus a TV mini series for the BBC during her break after Series 3. Joanna Froggett did two movies, Laura Carmichael did a stint on West End with a leading role in Uncle Vanya after Series 3.

As Dan Stevens, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth Mc Govern were involved in the filming of Downton Abbey for three Seasons, and each of them has said that it took 11 weeks to film each series, they are in the better position to know. Also each of them mentioned how the actual filming was two weeks on and one week off to enable the production crew to move between Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios. Hugh Bonneville mentioned that it was not often that the entire Ensemble Cast got together.

What interview? Please give

What interview? Please give me the sources.

I know for sure the total of filming goes from February to August (from the read-through to the wrap-up). I don't care if the actual time of filming for each actor is 11 weeks, it covers more than 28 weeks a year because they have to be available in UK during those months, with little breaks allowed here and there, that don't allow to take other commitments during the months of Downton Filming (28 weeks = more than half a year).

Then you justify your point (which is "the other actors did many things during Downton filming")... and you do it with works they managed to do during the break between season 2 and season 3, or after season 3. Not during Downton Abbey 7 months of filming. So you didn't really prove your point, sorry. This is more like a proof that they can take other commitments only during the break, and that means they just have a 5 months period of time a year where they can do other things.

What interview? Please give.

The interview mentioned given by Dan Stevens is on the facebook pages of Dan Stevens -UK and US - as well as on several Downton Abbey sites.... as are also the interviews given by Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern to the UK papers.

The discussion was that the actors would not be able to commit to other projects apart from Downton Abbey because there would not be sufficient time to allow for this outside the UK during the break between Seasons.

They have and they do!

I'm sorry but until you give

I'm sorry but until you give me an actual source where I can read what you claim that has been said, I don't consider what you are saying as a fact, just an opinion.

The discussion was about how much time DA actors have to take other projects; since the filming period goes from February to August, they have only 5 five months during the break between Seasons.
You claim they have 10 months of "freedom" from DA, when actually it is just 5. They have less options if they have to choose projects only during those few months.

It is on this facebook page

Do your own foot slogging....Your manuensis die from overwork????

It is on this facebook page as well as on the Downton Abbey Series 3 facebook page and the US Dan Stevens facebook page....a colourful full-page jnterview with large photo of Dan Stevens with Highclere Castle in the background.

Honey, it's you that have to

Honey, it's you that have to give the exact link to back up your opinion ;) I don't have the time to search through millions of posts on a facebook page to search something that could very well not exists, for all I know.

Sorry can't see it

Sorry, can't seem to see it here or on DA S3 facebook page.
Is viewing different for UK & USA, as it is for some of the DA videos.

What interview?...

Just a may be pertinent.

In the very same interview mentioned above which was given by Dan Stevens in a Question / Answer format to a UK TV magazine, Dan Stevens made the comment that it was gratifying for each of the actors to know that for the length of their contract they had a guaranteed income for 6 months of the year.

He does mention in that particular interview that Downton Abbey commences filming in late February / early March and is completed by the end of May.

Being under contract to Downton Abbey did not prevent Dan Stevens from filming Summer in February - -late January 2012 to mid March 2012= 7 weeks- and from judging the Man Booker Prize. In fact in an interview he mentioned that the costume department sewed into his outfits a special pocket for his kindle so that he could read the Novels in between takes.

Therefore, there must be time and flexibility afforded the actors by the Producers of Downton Abbey to do other things during the actual period set aside for the filming of Downton Abbey except ,of course, trip across the Atlantic to do more than a PR /Publicity Appearance at an A-list event on behalf of Downton Abbey.

Dan Stevens did Vamps in between Series One and Two. Mention is made of his returning to the UK after shooting Vamps.

What interview

Check out the UK Magazine WORD January 2011 page 50

Q & A Dan Stevens.

RE "What interview"

That would have referring to Series One then. Certainly Series Two & Three covered a much longer time span for filming. Also, there were the additional Christmas Specials for the last two series which were being filmed as late as September.

Series one had also one less

Series one had also one less episode than series two and three (7 vs. 8). Of course they filmed it in less time.

"That would have referring to

"That would have referring to Series One then. Certainly Series Two & Three covered a much longer time span for filming. Also, there were the additional Christmas Specials for the last two series which were being filmed as late as September."

THANK YOU. I agree with you.
Season 1 was a totally different thing and without a Christmas Special, it's not relevant anymore in a discussion about duration of filming.


"He does mention in that particular interview that Downton Abbey commences filming in late February / early March and is completed by the end of May."

I don't believe this, all the reports say they film since February to August. I am sure they filmed part of season 2 even until October.

Yes, Summer in February filming was partly during the DA filming, but it was few weeks and in UK. If one of the actors needed to film a movie outside UK, they would have to wait for the break, which means a window of just 5 months.

How long.... February - July

Dan just tweeted this today: 'So that's the second series of Downton in the can - today I start on your Christmas Special. If I could open my eyes I'd be excited...' Congratulations to him! July 22, 2011

Re How Long

Yes, by the time the CS was completed I believe it was August before they were finished.

Not from Dan....

Series 3 according to Hugh Bonneville

'That's a wrap on #DowntonAbbey #S3. Day141. Very proud to be part of a phenomenal team of people.
Hugh Bonneville- August 18th 2012.


Thanks for the reports from twitter!
I remembered both of them perfectly and I knew they both were near August. No way DA ends filming in May.

Re "What"

Filming certainly wasn't completed by May. Perhaps filming at Highclere was finished by then because of the house going into the 'open' season.
As Dan did not need to change his appearance greatly for Summer In February (there is a vague resemblance to Gilbert Evans there anyway) it was not to difficult to do that film retaining Matthew's look, and even then it had to be squeezed in between Series 2 and 3 of Downton. There was some overlap which meant travelling far down to the tip of Cornwall and being available for Series 3 start of filming. Quite some feat, and very tiring I imagine.

"Filming certainly wasn't

"Filming certainly wasn't completed by May."

Exactly. Thank you.

Re "How is February...."

Exactly the point! I'm glad someone else shares this pov.

Highclere Castle availability

As Highclere Castle is essential to Downton Abbey, filming for the series would have to fit in with its availability.

In May Highclere Castle is open to the public on two weekends. From mid- July to mid- September it is fully booked for tours.... the tickets for this year's Summer Tours of Highclere Castle are sold out.

This doesn't mean much, they

This doesn't mean much, they can use those months to film the scenes in the Studios or other locations.

"Season 4 was confirmed late

"Season 4 was confirmed late October 2012. "

Yes, but only to us. Surely they arranged it before, when they discussed the contracts, early 2012 (Ausiello talked about season 4-5 deal in March, and had the names of the actors who didn't extend the contracts, Dan Stevens, Jessica Brown-Findlay and Siobhan Finneran; all was done by then).

Season 4 was confirmed late

According to the following article in the Radio Times Season 4 was confirmed late.. very late... and this would be in keeping with Dan Stevens 's responses in TV Interviews in the US which started off as promos for The Heiress but inevitably turned to Downton Abbey and a possible Season 4. Dan's stock reply was "No-one knows as yet whether or not there will be a Season 4."

As can be seen in this article Season 4's announcement was late.

" Susanna Lazarus 5:04 PM, 23 November 2012

It's the worst kept secret in television: after another hugely successful run of Julian Fellowes' period drama Downton Abbey, ITV has commissioned series four.

The cast and crew will begin filming another run of eight episodes at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios in February next year - with the new series due to be broadcast on ITV in the autumn. The opening and closing episodes will again be feature length plus another Christmas special for 2013.........."

On one of the facebook pages the sister-in-law of one of the background cast members of Downton Abbey posted just after Season 3 had commenced in the UK that Dan Stevens would be only returning for Episode One in Season 4 because he wanted out. Later on she also made mention of the fact that O'Brien was not returning for Season 4. This was months before any official announcements were made.

That is the official

That is the official announcement for everyone but they knew everything a long before we knew. Actors just couldn't tell us so they stayed vague in the interviews.

Dan Stevens said on The Telegraph he made the decision on February, and it fits with the time when Ausiello had the news of two more seasons and all the names of the actors who chose not to renew their contracts. He really had the scoop. They had to discuss contract matters and the decision of more seasons in early 2012 for sure.

With all the conflicting news that were out during october and november, I could have made up myself the same rumor as the "sister-in-law of one the background cast members", Ausiello already made Siobhan Finneran name months before so it wasn't fresh info, and the thing about Dan Stevens was actually wrong because he already filmed Matthew's death months before (episode who was advertised as deeply heartbreaking by other cast members, so it means they all knew since August that Dan wasn't coming back) and had no intention to come back for one episode.


I recall seeing this, and even at that late stage pressure was still being put on Dan to stay for 'just one more episode'.
I would have thought that would have been a very difficult position to be put in, as any other plans/projects Dan had, would have been affected and/or jeopardized. In any case, just one more episode to 'kill him off' after the Christmas Special, as was mooted by Julian Fellowes, would only have delayed all the unpleasantness and bitterness subsequently directed at Dan, and undoubtedly led to constant pleading for him not to leave. Seems like a no-win situation all round to me!
Maybe, and perhaps I am being a little cynical, the delay in commissioning was due to the vagueness of the Series 4 storyline, and although Dan had made it clear that he did not want to, or even could extend his original contract, the suggestion that he might, may have been the 'sprat for the mackerel'!
Anyway, what's done is done. I would like to see everyone move on, stop attributing blame, feel happy for Dan and his future projects, and feel positive about this season's Downton Abbey. I am really looking forward to seeing Dan in new roles and situations, yes, I will miss Matthew very much, but then personally, I would have preferred for Downton Abbey to finish with S3 and on a high!

Rumors about Dan coming back

Rumors about Dan coming back for one episode in season 4 originated as late as november have to be clearly misdirection and wrong: DVDs of the Christmas Special were already made by then (meaning that Matthew's death was already set in stone by then).

Re Clarification

Sorry to ask, but can you explain further please, as this is quite interesting?

The number of weeks from February to August is approximately 26 weeks, so although filming is done on 2 weeks on and one week off schedule, and although not every cast member is required for every scene, it still seems to me that the overall period that a major cast member could be involved in the production might well cover a 5 or 6 month timescale.
With this in mind it might be difficult for an actor to commit to any other major role, outside of Downton Abbey, particularly if overseas, eg. USA. Certainly it does not allow 42 clear weeks to undertake other projects unless they are brief appearances or fall within the September-February 'free' period.

Many thanks.

Dan Stevens


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